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A church apart : southern Moravianism and denominational identity, 1865-1903

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Benjamin Antes Peterson (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Advisor
William D. Moore

Abstract: Historians have long argued that the Moravian Church’s move to the mainstream of Southern Protestantism resulted from the declination of their members’ German ethnicity during the antebellum period. The redefinition of the Southern Moravian Church as a mainline Southern Protestant denomination, in fact, came later than most scholars have previously suggested. The Southern Moravian Church came of age after the Civil War when it metamorphosed from a conservative ecumenical religious group dedicated to mission work to a full-fledged mainline Southern Protestant denomination, whose members saw themselves and were perceived by others as legitimate players in the Southern evangelical field. The change occurred over the final 35 years of the nineteenth century, which was relatively quickly given how little the church changed during its initial one hundred years in the Southern United States. This study explores the reasons for and ways in which the Southern Province of the Moravian Church in America adapted to meet the needs of those to whom they ministered. This study covers a broad swath of church activity in the nineteenth century, including political schism and its consequences, the incorporation of revivals into church worship, the adoption of denominational Sunday schools, changes in worship architecture, community outreach efforts, and denominational publications. This study fills a gap in the historiography between the colonial and antebellum church and the modern Moravian Church, South. The Southern Moravian denomination today owes much of its regional character, religious practices, organization, and traditions to the years covered in this thesis.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Moravian Church--Relations, Moravian Church in America--History--19th century, Moravian Church in America--History--18th century
Subjects
Moravian Church in America -- History -- 18th century
Moravian Church in America -- History -- 19th century
Moravian Church -- Relations